He Pulled A Fast One

Yesterday at about 2:40, I got a call from the school nurse. She says my son came down after lunch with a stomach ache. She let him rest and then sent him back to class. He returned to the nurse's office a few hours later so she decided to call me.

He had no fever. He didn't throw up. Just having stomach pains. So I picked him up from school and brought him home not knowing what the rest of the night would look like. We were only home a few minutes and he was eating a snack. A little while later he wanted to play his wii. I told him no he was having a sick day. He felt fine enough to be unhappy with me. It seemed to me he was feeling fine. So what was going on?

I asked him how he felt. He responded with, "good". Good? Really? So I started asking about his day. Was there something the class was about to do that he was nervous about? Was he having trouble with any friends, etc. he kept saying, "no mom". So why was he home?

Finally he says, "mom, I was just hungry". What! He was hungry? He came home because he was hungry? That is NOT okay. I have mentioned before how I have gotten lax about packing his lunches. He loves that he gets to buy school lunch. But I made it very clear that if he is still hungry after eating the school lunch I will have to pack for him instead. He didn't like that idea. He begged me to let him buy his lunch today. So I let him. But I reminded him that he was not to go to the nurse because he was hungry. I'm anxious to see how he makes out today. I suspect he wasn't eating the food provided that he didn't want to eat. Hopefully he learned a lesson yesterday. Time will tell...


One Step, Then Another

The date for my Boxing Certification is fast approaching. This is a good thing. This is a SCARY thing. It's no secret I love to box. Two days ago I was so panicked about this certification process I was ready to walk away. You see, I go to the gym, wrap my hands, put on my gloves and then turn of my brain. Sounds strange I'm sure but it's true. Boxing is fun.  Boxing is therapeutic.  Boxing is reactive for me. My trainer calls out what to do, and I do it as fast and as hard as I can. 
As I prepare for this exam, I realize this is an obstacle I need to work through. This has been a challenge but I'm getting there. I am no longer paralyzed by this fear. I am being stretched yet again. I know I can do this. I am still nervous but it is a healthy nervousness. 
I am looking forward to having this certification date behind me. I'm not sure where this process is leading me but I'm glad I have decided to follow it despite my personal discomfort. Who knows what opportunities lie ahead for me. I am excited to find out. 


Open House


My kiddos are so excited about Open House at school.  They have been talking about this night since last week.  At first I didn't understand what they were so worked up about.  I don't remember being excited for Open House night when I was little.  Of course, I don't remember Open House in elementary school but I imagine I was excited too.

I thought Open House was for the parents to attend and that the students were discouraged from coming.  This is not the case at the school the Mini's go to.  And it is no wonder they are so excited for this night.  The kids have been working very hard all year and they want to show off their work.  This is the time for the kids to share what they know about their world.  Mommy and Daddy will be on their turf.  The children's artwork hung throughout the entire building.  It is going to be like a Scavenger Hunt to find the artwork with my Little One's names below.

I am looking forward to seeing what the kiddos have been doing at school.  I'm looking forward to seeing the excitement in their faces as they show us their friends, their desks and all their hard work.


Awesome Muffin!

It has been a while since I've made muffins for my family.  It has also been a while since I've posted a recipe.  So here is a new recipe I tried and they REALLY hit the spot!

Banana Oat Muffins
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 C rolled oats
1/2 C white sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 egg
3/4 C milk
1/3 C canola oil
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 C mashed bananas (I used 2 bananas)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt.
In a large bowl, beat egg lightly.  Stir in milk, oil and vanilla.  Add the mashed banana and stir well.  Stir into flour mixture until combined.
Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.  Divide batter into muffin pan.
Bake for 18-20 mins.

These really were very tasty!  Enjoy :)


A Favorite Modern Convenience


The Drive-Thru Window.  It's true.  I love the Drive-Thru window.  Not really for fast food.  Although, I do love the occasional fast food treat, I try to keep that to a minimum.  The Drive-Thru window has been instrumental in many a successful coffee runs.  I find when running around town, or just running late when I leave the house and all I can think about is a cup of coffee.  Driving to a cafe or restaurant, parking the car, getting the kids out of the car, dragging them into the Coffee Mecca, making them wait in line and continually telling them they can't get anything is really NOT fun.

Enter the ease of the Drive-Thru :)  I can get Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts via Drive-Thru.  Just depends on which direction I am driving off to.  If I'm really desperate, I can always drive to the local McDonald's that is very close to my house.  Not my favorite coffee but when the craving hits, sometimes you settle.   I DO NOT have a Java problem, REALLY, haha!

So I did a little research on the history of the Drive-Thru window.  And there is some controversy over who started this convenience.  According to Answers.com, it was not McDonald's which is a common belief.  Instead, Answers.com reports,

The first drive-thru restaurant was created in 1947 by Sheldon "Red" Chaney, operator of Red's Giant Hamburg in Springfield, Missouri. Located on the famous Route 66, the restaurant served customers until its closure in 1984. Several other companies lay claim to having invented the first drive-thru restaurant, including the In 'N Out burger chain, which didn't open a drive-thru until 1948, and Jack in the Box, founded in 1951

I have to admit, this idea came to me yesterday as I was driving to church and I swung by my favorite Starbucks (its my favorite because of the Drive-Thru).  I started thinking about how often I get my get my coffee this way.  And how I will drive a little out of my way to ensure I don't have to actually get out of my car.  I'm not sure if it saves time, but it certainly helps me feel like I'm still moving therefore still productive.  

What about you?  Do you seek out a local Drive-Thru rather than parking and going inside to buy what you are looking for?  


Do You Use Coupons?

Are you a coupon user? Sometimes I say I'm going to use coupons and save money. Every once and a while, I actually cut out a stack of coupons that I can use. And then...they expire.

So, I am not a coupon user. I am in awe an wonder as I hear stories from my friends who do use them and save tons of money. And of course, when you hear of extreme couponers who walk away with hundreds of dollars of merchandise for $6.00 or end up getting money from the store!

Yesterday I was reading Dear Abby and it was about coupons. But it was from store's perspective. The readers were responding to the shoppers who leave coupons on the shelves for some other consumer to use. I've seen this many times. I've probably even done this at some point. It seemed that the store employees were much against this practice. The employees were saying that the coupons usually end up on the floor or swept down into drains and can cause several hazards.

I was kind of surprised by this perspective. Honestly I never thought about the coupons left behind. And considering I am not a coupon user, it's not really something I'm worried about. But I thought it was an interesting perspective and thought I'd pass it along.

Thanks for reading Java Talk. Please share your thoughts below.


Dear Diary,

More thoughts on how this year is going to be different for me.  It is only the fourth month of the year, but it is crazy how much I have wrestled with in this short time span.  This is all a part of the process, its uncomfortable at times, just plain sucks at others.  But as I have begun to "reach the other side" in some situations, I believe it is all worth it.

A Few Things I Want To Change About Myself:

1.  Be more self-confident.

2.  Care less about what others think.

3.  Learn to "think first" before I react.

I'm not exactly sure how to accomplish these changes.  Baby steps.  Taking the CPR class was a great step.  So will be completing the boxing certification process.  I am being stretched and extending my comfort zones.  Working on ourselves is never easy, but these are certain things about myself that I feel need some improvement.  If my children are going to learn from me, I want to be sure that they are learning is positive and will help them through their lives.  


Horror Stories...

Today I had my CPR certification class.  I am one step closer to getting my Boxing Certification!  So I arrived ready to spend the next several hours with the small group of people in the room.  There was a young couple participating in the training today.  They were clearly expecting and were taking this certification class together so they are prepared should there be an emergency after the baby comes.  I can remember when I was pregnant, reading that I should get CPR certified but Andy and I chose not to.  So Kudos to this young couple...

There were two instructors for the course.  Both were retired from their careers and explained that teaching these courses were how they stay busy in retirement.  I was shocked how quickly the conversation was steered towards the expectant couple and their baby.  The problem was the instructors were joking with the couple about how life doesn't get any better for the next 18 years!  Followed by even more comments that basically said the same thing.  I mean, if you've ever been pregnant, you know that EVERYONE has advice for you and a story to share.  But I was starting to feel bad for this couple.  I finally turned to them and told them I had a 5 and a 7 yr. old and we are doing just fine.  The Daddy looked at me and with a relieved smile thanked me.

I just kept thinking, "what are you thinking?" as this man and woman kept sharing story after story with this couple.  The male instructor went on and on until he mentioned he watches his great-grandson and then the stories continued on.  The female instructor didn't want to be outdone, so she added that she is helping to raise her grown son's (who is single) two teenagers.  She then said, "think of the worst there is and triple it, then you've got my life".  REALLY?! Don't get me wrong, parenthood isn't all hugs and cuddles but what happened to the joy a baby's arrival?  This poor girl is only 5 1/2 months pregnant.  I was ready to run over and hug her. A very strange experience.

On a positive note, I am so happy that I took this training.  This is not the first time I've been certified.  But it is the first time I've gone to do this all on my own.  This was a victory for me.  It is not easy for me to go into a new situation on my own.  In fact, as I was driving to the class, I realized that just last Fall, I would not have even attempted this small feat.  But as part of this new me initiative, I grabbed a cup of coffee and took a deep breath, then walked through the doors.  Once I was in there, I went even farther by pushing myself to go first for each demonstration rather than hiding in the back.  It was scary the first time or two but by the end of the course, I was confident and ready to be tested.  And I'm happy to say, I passed!


The Perfect Cup Looks Different For Everyone


I was out with a dear friend yesterday.  We were sitting over our afternoon cups of coffee when she said, "I love to listen to how people order their coffee".  At first, I thought that was a little strange but as I thought more about this idea, I think it is intriguing.  I mean, lots and lots of people drink coffee.  But if you listen to the people around you (in a restaurant or cafe), the perfect cup of coffee is very personal.

For instance, I am not a big fan of McDonald's coffee.  Period.  I'll drink it if that's my only choice but I'll usually go out of my way to get my coffee from somewhere else.  If I am at Starbucks, I order my bold roast with two pumps of Classic Syrup (liquid sugar) and room for cream.  If I am at Dunkin Donuts, I ask for cream and 1/2 sugar.  I think DD uses a lot of sugar, so if they add less sugar, I'm happy.  At home, I prefer to make my coffee in my French Press.  I add just a little splash of flavored creamer and voila! my perfect morning companion :)

Those are just how I order my coffee.  Think of all the people who walk through those cafe doors. This is an interesting idea and I have a feeling I'm going to be listening to how people order their coffee for a while.


This Chapter Is Closed

So today is it! My final appointment of Physical Therapy is here. Only 2 1/2 months after surgery and I am so much better off then I've been in about 8 years. That is a long time. But it is all behind me.

Thanks for your patience as I've worked through my anxiety before surgery, my occasional impatience with myself in recovery and celebrating with me as I reached a new milestone. I have made it to the other side and I'm so excited to be here. One thing I have learned over these past 8 years is to never take for granted any pain free days and I would encourage you to do the same.


Your Favorite Smells

The sense of smell is a very important one. Smells make us hungry. They bring memories to mind. Smells can also turn our stomach.

I think it is interesting that people are drawn to different types of smells. There are flowery, fruity and baking scents for example.

I am NOT a fan of flowery smells. I also am not one to like most fruity scents. I am definitely drawn to baking scents.

I don't burn candles, I gave that up when my kiddos were small. But I do melt scented wax with an electric burner. Give me the smells of pumpkin, cakes, cookies etc and I'm in a happy place. Right now my house smells like Oats and Honey.

What scents appeal to you?

Thanks for reading Java Talk. Please share your thoughts below.


When To Tell?


Easter has now come and gone.  But for days leading up to the holiday, both of my kiddos have been hounding me with the question..."Is the Easter Bunny real?".  Personally, I hate lying to my children.  I know it is in the spirit of fun, so I go along with it.  But now I have to decide if my kiddos are old enough to know the truth about the Easter Bunny which I'm sure will lead to questions later this year about Santa.

First I decide my son who is 7 is old enough to know the truth.  But his timing is bad...Little Sister is always with him when he asks.  So after she went to bed, I went to his room and I revealed the big truth.  He smiled at me real cute and then said, "I knew it!".  Then, he looked at me a bit confused and asked about how the candy got in the baskets.  I smiled back and explained that Mommy and Daddy fill the baskets.  Then I made sure he understood the importance of keeping this secret from his sister and his friends.  Feeling like a "Big Man", he agreed and off to bed he went.

The very next day, my daughter who is a few months shy of 6, asked me if the Easter Bunny was real.  WHAT?  I wasn't ready for this again.  Of course, Andy wasn't home so I had to make a decision.  I tried to be vague.  I asked her to think about if she doesn't like the answer.  She still wanted to know.  I asked her what she thought.  She said she didn't believe the EB was real.  I asked her why?  She responded that bunnies don't walk on two legs or talk.  That seems logical.  So I decided to tell her... My Girl Mini turned to me with a smile and said, "I knew it!"  Then she asked if the EB is just a mascot.  I thought that sounded logical so I said yes.  Then I asked her how she thinks the candy gets in the baskets.  Her idea is that the mascot carries a big bag filled with candy and travels around to all the kids' houses.  Hmm...doesn't that support the idea of an Easter Bunny?

I finished our little talk with making her understand the responsibility of knowing the "secret" is to KEEP the secret.  Mommy's and Daddy's get to choose when to tell the secret to their kiddos and so she has to keep playing along when her friends talk about the EB.

Wow!  I wasn't ready to deal with this yet.  It seems recently, these kids keep throwing curveballs at me.  I guess that's a part of being a parent though, right?

How old were your kiddos when you shared the big secret?


One More Week!

It looks like I have one more week of physical therapy left. Woot! Woot!

Life is good. I was able to sit through an entire movie in the theater without hip pain. I am back to boxing. I am now able to kick as well. Today I took my first Zumba class in several months.

These hips are working again! I can do all the things I did before surgery, only better! Once again, I'm so glad I have all this behind me and I'm looking forward to many years ahead of being super active and pain free!

Thanks for reading Java Talk. Please share your thoughts below.


Spring Break Is Here

Today is the first day of Spring Break.  I'm not sure how that can be because it seems we were just saying "Happy New Year's!".  So the Mini's and I are looking at the next five days together.  Good times ahead.  This morning I had to smile as I thought of what these next few days home from school will be like.

First, this Mommy gets to sleep in!  I was going to lay in bed until "the clock says 7" because that is when my kiddos are allowed to get up.  But in the end, I got up at 6:30, I couldn't give up my quiet time completely.  The extra half hour was nice.  I made apple cinnamon pancakes for the breakfast, which were very much enjoyed.  It was also nice to not have to rush the kids through the morning routine while I rush through mine.

Today we will have friends over to play.  This is a special treat because school has really cramped our social calendar (haha).  Seriously though, it seems our friends are on a completely different school schedule so we rarely get to see these Buddies.

The weather is nice so I'm looking forward to getting outside with the Mini's to soak up some Vitamin D.  I'm also looking forward to no homework fuss for a few days.  Although I still can't believe Spring Break is here, I am happy to take these next few days and make some memories with my Mini's.

Are you doing anything special with your kiddos while they are home from school?


Pretty Picture

Spring is here for sure. The temperature is warming up and everything is in bloom. This morning I looked into my back yard and smiled as I saw all the beautiful colors surrounding the patio.

Tulips are one of my favorite flowers and there are lots of tulips around my yard to see. Here is a picture that makes me think "Spring".

Enjoy this beautiful day. Look around and notice the new life that is growing all around us.

Thanks for reading Java Talk. Please share your thoughts below.


Better Every Day

This morning at 6 o'clock, I was ready to take my first boxing class with bags since before my surgery. I've been hitting for a few weeks but I've been intimidated by the bags. I also know myself and feared not being able to limit myself if necessary. So I waited.

Last week my Physical Therapist told me I was passed the point where I can harm my repair. This is great news. Now if I have pain or tenderness I don't have to worry I've done damage.

So I gave myself another week and then showed up bright and early, ready to face the bag. It was great. I was very happy with what I was able to do. And without pain! This is a huge milestone for me. One I am happy to share. Two months since surgery and I'm almost better than ever. I dreaded this surgery so deeply but I have no regrets about going through with it.

Thanks for reading Java Talk. Please share your thoughts below.

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